Midwest Region Endangered Species Conserving the nature of America

Endangered Species Program


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.




U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest


The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you.


The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Find a location near you »


American byring beetle on the fingers of a biologist during a reintroduction project on Wayne National Forest.

Photo courtesy of USFS

American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus)


Status: Endangered with a proposed rule to reclassify to threatened


Partnership-driven efforts lead to downlisting of the American burying beetle

Thanks in part to the efforts of dedicated partners across this species’ range, the first insect added to the endangered species list is staging a comeback: the American burying beetle. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is downlisting the beetle under the Endangered Species Act, from endangered to threatened.


News Release (September 3, 2020)



Proposal to Reclassify from Endangered to Threatened with a 4(d) Rule

The Service is proposing to downlist the American burying beetle from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We are also proposing a 4(d) rule that would tailor ESA protections to only those the beetle needs for recovery. Publication of the proposed downlisting and 4(d) rules in the Federal Register on May 3, 2019, opens a 60-day public comment period that closes on July 2, 2019.


News Release (May 1, 2019)

Federal Register Proposed Rule Adobe PDF Icon

Questions and Answers


Status Review for Two Midwestern Species includes American Burying Beetle

March 16, 2016

The American burying beetle is included in a batch of 90-findings in response to petitions to list, delist and reclassify 29 species. The Service has received a petition to delist this beetle for which there is substantive information to warrant a thorough assessment.

More information ยป

American burying beetle

Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Zoo


Status: Endangered, listed July 13, 1989 Adobe PDF Icon


Habitat: Many types of habitat, with a slight preference for grasslands and open understory oak hickory forests. However, the beetles need carrion the size of a dove or a chipmunk to reproduce. Carrion availability may be the greatest factor determining where the species can survive.


Lead Region: 2


Region 3 Lead Office: Ohio Field Office


Range: Arkansas, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas


Reintroduction in Missouri



News Release (March 21, 2012) - Colorful Endangered Beetle to Return to Southwest Missouri


Federal Register Final Rule: Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of American Burying Beetle in Southwestern Missouri (March 22, 2012)


St. Louis Zoo's Center American Burying Beetle Conservation


Natural History and Status Information:

Fact Sheet


South Dakota Field Office Fact Sheet


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Profile


American Burying Beetle 5-Year Review: March 2008 (53-page Adobe PDF Icon; 3.43MB)


Recovery Actions

News Release (May 17, 2012): Celebrate Endangered Species Day! Bring back the Endangered American Burying Beetle


Surveying for the American burying beetle (Saint Louis Zoo; Oct. 7, 2009) - YouTube Video


June 9, 2009: American Burying Beetle Reintroduction: Endangered Species Returned to Wayne National Forest


Recovering a Strange, Elusive Gravedigger by Hayley Dikeman in Spring 2009 Endangered Species Technical Bulletin


Reintroducing the American Burying Beetle (Aug. 2008)



Midwest Endangered Species Home